RISP stands for Runners in Scoring Position. It’s a statistic that baseball fans and analysts keep track of, to see how well a team is doing at getting runners on base, and then getting them to score. But what does RISP really mean for a team? And which teams are the best at it? Read on to find out!

POINTS

- RISP is a stat used to identify “runners in scoring position” in Major League Baseball.
- The term was first coined in the 1980s to determine how many baserunners in a game are potential runners.
- RISP helps teams determine how many possible runs there were on the base paths.
- Major League Baseball teams prefer WPA or Win Probability Added, which attempts to forecast scoring changes to determine the contribution of a specific player to his team’s win.

The RISP stat is an essential tool for teams and managers to analyze the performance of their offenses. The metric helps teams forecast how many potential runs are on base in a game and throughout a season. RISP also identifies which players are adept at driving in runs by performing in “clutch situations” with runners in scoring position.

Although RISP is a popular statistic for baseball fans, Major League Baseball teams prefer WPA or Win Probability Added. This metric attempts to forecast scoring changes to determine the contribution of a specific player to his team’s win.

In this article...

## What is RISP in Major League Baseball?

RISP in Major League Baseball is a stat used to identify “runners in scoring position.” The term was first coined in the 1980s to determine how many baserunners in a game are potential runners. Since runners on first base are not considered to be in scoring position, RISP helps teams determine how many possible runs there were on the base paths.

## Highest career batting average with RISP in the past 55 years

- .349 Tony Gwynn
- .347 Rod Carew
- .334 Joe Mauer
- .328 Miguel Cabrera
- .327 Manny Ramirez
- .326 Paul Molitor
- .324 Wade Boggs
- .324 Todd Helton
- .322 Kirby Puckett

** minimum 2000 plate appearances*

## How is baseball RISP calculated?

Baseball RISP is calculated by the number of hits a batter has with runners in scoring position, which is then divided by the number of at-bats that the batter has with runners in scoring position. Teams also expand the RISP stat by calculating the batting average with two outs and runners in the scoring position. This helps coaches identify players who perform well in “clutch” or “high-stress” situations.

## When is a baseball player in scoring position?

A baseball player is in scoring position when they have reached second or third base. A runner on second or third base can sprint home on a base hit to score a run, while a player on third base can also score on a wild pitch, sacrifice fly, balk, or squeeze bunt.

A baserunner on first base is not considered in a scoring position because it would take more scenarios for them to score. Runners on first base need the batter to collect an extra-base hit to score and cannot score on a single, balk, wild pitch, squeeze bunt, or sacrifice fly.

## Why is second base the starting point for runners in scoring position?

Second base is the starting point for runners in scoring position because baserunners who reach second base can score on a single. A runner on first base can only cross home plate if the batter connects for an extra-base hit, while runners on second and third can score a run on a base hit.

## Strategies for hitters when runners are in scoring position

Strategies for hitters when runners are in the scoring position include several sacrifice plays. With a runner on second base and less than two outs, the hitter can use a sacrifice bunt or hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield to advance the runner to third base. The same scenario with a runner on third base requires the hitter to hit a flyball to the outfield or a squeeze bunt to help the baserunner cross home plate.

## What happens if baserunners are left in scoring position at the end of an inning?

Baserunners left in scoring position at the end of an inning are called “runners left in scoring position.” This stat allows teams to measure how inefficient their hitters are at the plate with runners in scoring position. For example, two runners are left in scoring position when a batter makes the third out with the bases loaded.

## Why does the MLB calculate runners in scoring position as a stat?

MLB calculates runners in scoring position as a stat because it helps baseball managers analyze several aspects of the baseball game. The stat helps managers identify which players have low and high batting averages with runners in scoring position.

It also aids managers in analyzing why their team scored a certain number of runs in a particular game. For example, a team that collected 12 hits but scored only two runs did not have many base hits with runners in scoring position.

## How does small ball baseball fit into RISP?

Small ball baseball fits into RISP because some teams prioritize getting runners into scoring position. The small ball strategy relies on walks and singles instead of extra-base hits to score runs. Teams emphasize getting baserunners on first base and then manufacturing runs by utilizing sacrifice bunts, stolen bases, hit-and-run plays, and sacrifice fly balls.

Small-ball baseball is commonly used in the latter innings of a close game when a team needs one run to tie the game or is trying to expand a narrow lead. This tactic favors teams that possess players with good speed and bat control at the plate.

## Who has the most all-time home runs with RISP?

Mike Schmidt is the all-time leader with 158 career home runs with runners in scoring position. Sammy Sosa is second with 147 and is followed by Mark McGwire (143), Reggie Jackson (142), Barry Bonds (139), and Eddie Murray (137).

Hank Aaron hit 134 long balls with runners in scoring position, while Harmon Killebrew, Willie Stargell, and Jose Canseco each belted 126 home runs with ducks on the pond.

## A valuable statistic

RISP is a valuable statistic because it helps teams analyze how effective their offenses are when runners are in scoring position. Scoring runs is a vital part of winning baseball games, and RISP allows managers to identify which players are successful at driving in runs. The metric can be expanded to other stats, including OPS, slugging percentage, and RBI.

Now that you know what RISP means in baseball, you can use the metric to analyze your favorite team’s offense.